Monday, February 23, 2009

T & L in a Networked Classroom: Reflection

It all began with a conversation with Cheryl Baker at the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference. I had signed up for a class that began on December 1 but I had heard nothing about it. The next day I got a message from Jeff Utecht...the course would be based out of Bangkok. Amazing!

Then came the ice storms. No internet for days. Brutal.

Finally, I engaged in a first-time Skype conversation with someone half way around the globe (picture perfect video) and then had a phone conversation with Kim. Both were extremely supportive.

I was excited about this class. Wikis, podcasts, blogs...I knew what they were but had never created/used them. Not only was this class going to allow me to reach the top of my pay scale; it was the class that was going to be the glue of Web 2.0 tools. I was going to have to use the tools this time around and not just hear about them. I was excited.

There were many positives of this course. First of all, online coursework allows for such flexibility. I would often find myself working in the middle of the night. No need to spend time/$ going to PSU. In addition, I set up my very own PLN (it took a couple tries but it's working great now).

I found the required reading assignments to be very appropriate and they served as springboards to additional information and reflection. It was great that so much time was spent on reading, writing (26 blog posts!), and creating. I feel much better equipped to use web 2.0 tools in my classroom and school.

Before writing my blog entries, I would take time to reflect. I would sometimes find myself with conflicting views. What did I really think? The line would be blurry at times. Blogging is a wonderful way to share thoughts.

I would highly recommend this class to others. Jeff, your Thinking Stick blog provided a wealth of information and insight on the future of education. And Kim, it was obvious how much work you put into making the T & L wiki up-to-date and your encouragement was so welcome. You are a great team.

Since this class started, I have an iGoogle page, a Tech Mentoring wiki for a class I'm teaching, have gotten the 8th grade teachers to design a project (War of 1812) with students creating wikis, have the 5th grade teachers planning to have their students create podcasts on current events, and the 6th grade students are blogging. Now I look forward to doing more with project-based learning.

Thank you everyone for this opportunity to glue all the pieces of teaching and learning in a networked classroom together. You have all contributed so positively to my learning experience.


  1. Wow! You are inspirational! Good for you to have put into action all of the tools you learned and in such a short amount of time. I want to work with you! :) Thank you for the kind words and I am so excited for your school to be embracing Web2.0 technology. Keep up the great work. It takes inspired teachers to make change, and you are well on your way.

  2. I am impressed at how much you have applied during this short time! I had all I could do to keep up with the readings and the work! Nice job!!

  3. I am impressed with all that you accomplished between applying the technology, going to the inaugaration, ice storms, work etc...did you ever sleep? This class was your last class to reach the top of your pay scale? I enjoyed taking this class with you and one last spring (Creating A Safe School Climate) I hope we have a chance to connect again - and thank you for the advice on other technology classes. Task care.

  4. Glad to hear you got so much out of this course and happy to hear that you are applying it in your classroom. It's been a weird quarter, but somehow we've seen it through. Know that I'm here anytime you have questions or if you want to connect students globally there are some great global projects out there. Today a class of our fifth graders had a conversation with a class in Australia. Skype is such a powerful tool.

    Best Wishes,